Corker: Flake stands up against 'demagogues'

Corker: Flake stands up against 'demagogues'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday praised Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 Poll: Democrat Mark Kelly leads incumbent McSally in Arizona Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.) for standing up to "demagogues" after the Arizona Republican delivered a speech on the Senate floor savaging the Republican Party under President Trump. 

“He’s kinda quiet, but he stands for all the things that make our nation great and is willing to continue to say that even though we have demagogues and others who end up trying to take us in other directions," Corker said, according to NBC News.

Corker's comments came shortly after Flake announced that he would not seek reelection in 2018, saying "there may not be a place for a Republican like me in the current Republican climate or the current Republican Party."

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Corker similarly announced last month that he would not seek reelection next year. Since then, he has increasingly spoken critically of Trump. The feud between the two intensified Tuesday morning just hours before the president was slated to meet with Senate Republicans at a lunch.

Corker characterized Trump as a serial liar and said he regretted supporting him for president. He also said Trump was "debasing" the country.

Flake's comments on Tuesday criticizing the current state of the Republican Party were not his first. The junior Arizona senator has criticized Trump for months and argued the GOP should have pushed back harder against him.

In his speech, Flake made no direct mention of the president, but his jabs were unmistakably aimed at Trump.

"We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country, the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency, the reckless provocations — most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing to whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have been elected to serve," he said.

Flake also warned against any move to "abandon" the United States's leadership role in the world.

"It seems that we, the architects of this visionary rules-based world order that has brought so much freedom and prosperity, are the ones most eager to abandon it," Flake said.